Kaju Barfi ~ Cashewnut sweet using candy method

Isn’t it a pleasure when a good friend invites you to share her virtual kitchen?  Monsoon Spice has been one of my favourite Indian blogs since I started blogging. Over years Sia and I have shared our highs and lows, as well as a common kitchen at Beyond Curries. It gives me great pleasure to share space with her after quite some time!

These are made with only three main ingredients – cashews, sugar and water.

Recipe: Kaju Barfi (Cashew Candy Squares)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 7-10 minutes
Makes: 12 pieces
Shelf Life: Lasts easily for about 15-20 days in room temperatur

Cashew powder – 1 cup / 144g
White sugar – ½ cup level / 109g
Water – ½ cup, 2 tbsp. less / 95g
Crushed cardamom powder – ¼ tsp. (Optional)
Saffron strands – 4-5 (Optional)
Oil to grease tray (Optional)

Special equipment:
A wok
Rectangular jelly tray measuring 3×6 inches OR a plate
(A jelly pan will ensure that no pieces go waste – ideally you require a pan that measures 3 x 3”)

Preliminary Preparations:

If using saffron, warm the threads slightly (do not let the strands shrivel) and pound into a powder.

If using cardamom, use only green cardamom. Remove the pods and crush into a fine powder adding a teaspoon of sugar to make the process easy. Set aside to use when needed.

If preparing cashew powder at home, use cashews that are fresh, with a bite and not soft. Place cashews in mixer, blend lightly to break them into smaller pieces. Stop and scrape sides and repeat in several turns giving rest in between, so that the cashews do not turn release oil and turn into a paste. The perfect texture for barfis are attained when cashews are powdered and not a paste. Measure one cup of powder and set aside.


Place water, sugar and saffron/cardamom (if using) in a heavy wok. Cook on medium heat till the sugar completely dissolves and turns slightly sticky, about 4-5 minutes. Dip the edge of a spoon into the syrup. Blow as it will be extremely hot and touch the syrup in the spoon with your forefinger and press it to your thumb while still warm. If it has reached the one thread stage you will be able to draw a thread of sugar at least a centimetre when you release your thumb from the forefinger. If the thread breaks in between it shows that the syrup is still undercooked or is in the half thread stage. Reduce heat and cook for just a few seconds more and try. Every second counts as sugar caramelizes very fast. If there are two threads instead of one, sprinkle a few drops of water, mix and check again.

When you are satisfied that the one-thread consistency has been achieved, add the powdered cashews and mix well, cutting and tossing the mixture till the cashew comes together and leaves a trail in the wok, about five minutes. Use a pair of tongs to hold the wok steady and work quickly.

Pour the paste all over the surface of a greased jelly tray/baking tray or plate. Let cool for two minutes. Spread an aluminium foil or plantain leaf over the candy and smoothen the surface with a greased bowl. The foil/leaf is not necessary but it gives the best finish.

Let cool for about five to ten minutes and etch lines to cut into desired shape. I am a bit of a perfectionist and use a scale to do make neat rectangular or square pieces!

Cool till the Kaju Barfis are no longer sticky and are firm to touch, about twenty minutes. Cut along the etched lines and remove them with the pancake turner.

Store in a clean, airtight box. These last for a fortnight at room temperature easily but I wonder whether they will last even a day as they are not the kind of sweets that go untouched.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Deeps @ Naughty Curry

    i love kaju burfi.. and urs looks mouth watering. Saw this recipe at sia’s blog & the delectable photo brought me here! 🙂

    • Harini

      Hey, that is nice of you! Thanks for visiting and am so glad you like those burfis! Oh yes, I promise you they are as delicious as they look. 🙂

  • bharathi

    Well ur reply spurred me into action. I made the kaju barfi today, infact jus this evening and it was delicious. I am really happy becos kaju katli ( till now always bought) is the only sweet my son likes and now i can make it at home. It was surprisingly so easy to make. I also have a few doubts but i thought i will post them in ur. Monsoon spice guest post

    • Harini

      WOW! That was quick. 🙂 Thanks for trying it out and for getting back to me with your verdict. I will look up your doubts in Sia’s blog soon. I am also glad that it is your son’s favourite sweet. Sounds like my son. 🙂

  • Bharathi

    mouth watering picture. …barfi looks YUMMY….I can feel it melting in my mouth.
    will try it soon

    • Harini

      Thanks! Please try it. I am awaiting your feedback.

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